Be Transformed. Transform Your World. A Celebration.
God transforms us. God transforms the world. Our role is to join God where He is already working.
On June 4, we celebrated at our graduation event. Over many years, the 2022 graduates learned:
God prepares us to join His work through:
the natural strengths we’ve displayed since birth;
our natural limits – things we are NOT good at;
our weaknesses – mistakes, sins, damage from others that God redeems in amazing ways. Like light inside a cracked pot, the cracks in our lives we want to hide become the best ways to display God’s glory as we surrender them to Him. (2 Corinthians 4:7)
the challenges and opportunities God has provided in our unique circumstances and relationships.
God is advancing, not retreating. We need new eyes to see victories in what others see as defeats. Too often we focus on the shortcomings in our part of the world, yet His church is growing faster and healthier than ever often in the places where there is the most persecution. Where evil grows, so does the proof of God’s goodness and power. His ways are contrasted so vividly against the ways of the world. The lie of Genesis 3, “Go ahead and eat. God is not good. God is holding out on you.” is being revealed. A God who is not good does not step down from His glory to be tempted and tortured, crucified and resurrected. A God who is not good does not place His children in every nation who choose joy as they suffer; and live truth as the world around them suffocates in lies.
The big picture changes us. We have spent extensive time with others around the world in online courses and city immersions. We’ve worked, prayed, suffered, and celebrated alongside new friends in 5 continents. We can never forget the vision and hope we’ve seen from the mountain top. Relationships at this level are not just head knowledge, they have changed us at our core.
Focus is the way of God. God has not called us to save the world, but to do the part He has planned for us. We are a body part in a whole-body God has intentionally assembled. Others may tell us what THEY think is the route to significance, but our significance comes by following our specific calling. When we are free from the lure of grandiosity, we choose to do the few best things rather than the many good things. When we add one thing to our “to do” list, we add five things to our “to stop” list. Often, the people God chooses to transform nations are the ones who have grown most comfortable with obscurity if that is God’s calling for them.
Seeing God’s larger work in the world, embracing our focused calling, and connecting the two in practical ways takes hard work, sustained over multiple years, in a community of peers, coaches, mentors, advisors, listeners, and friends. A customized, relational doctoral or masters degree provides the framework for this type of sustained hard work. More importantly, it creates life-long habits and relationships, so the work continues long after graduation.
New doctoral and masters graduates who have started this life-long journey of humility and intentionality were celebrated at BGU’s graduation ceremony on June 4.
Dr. Brad Smith